By Ms. Valerie

Miss Valerie’s Cure for the Monday Blues

The Monday Blues is a very real part of life in the theater whether you just appeared in your elementary school production of Cinderella or just completed a tour of Wicked. Monday Blues refers to the Monday that immediately follows the final performance (or “closing weekend”) of a show’s run. Mondays are typically “dark” days […]

Directing or Micromanaging? Part I

INTRODUCTION A theater director’s job, at the very minimum, is to manage every aspect of a theatrical production. A director should be willing to and capable of collaborating with everyone participating in the project including designers, actors, engineers and stage managers. A director spends a lot of time in production meetings and even more time in […]

Encouraging Reading

There are many ways in which participation in theater can encourage reading. Educational standards in reading comprehension, fluency, phonics and vocabulary instruction are all reinforced when an early reader participates in a script-based (as opposed to improvisational) theatrical production. Typically, when play rehearsals begin, students are given a script and asked to work on and eventually […]

Classroom Management

We’ve all heard a lot about positive and negative attention and positive and negative reinforcement. It basically boils down to: punish the bad behavior, reward the good behavior. But punishing kids isn’t always effective and sometimes a gold star just isn’t enough. And, with the amount of high fructose corn syrup laced in everything, not […]

A Few Words on Pantomime

I like to start all my classes by teaching a little something about Pantomime. Pantomime is, quite simply, acting without words. Most beginning actors will draw a connection between Pantomime and charades. This is a good place to start. In charades, just like Pantomime, we are challenged to use our bodies, gestures and facial expressions to communicate with […]

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